Provide Comments on Cedar Creek Cleanup

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The EPA held a public hearing on December 3rd, 2015 to highlight the proposed plan to cleanup the Cedar Creek Superfund site. Thanks to those who attended–it was a full house! The official public comment period ends December 16, 2015. Milwaukee Riverkeeper will be submitting formal comments on the proposed cleanup plan, but here are a few points of concern.

Some quick background first: approximately 5.1 miles of Cedar Creek are listed as a Federal Superfund site, due to contamination from Amcast (now defunct) and Mercury Marine. Mercury Marine constructed boat motors from a plant on St. John Avenue in Cedarburg from 1951 to 1982, and fluids containing PCBs leaked from its facility into the Ruck Pond on Cedar Creek. The Ruck Pond has been cleaned up, but the entire creek downstream is contaminated. Mercury Marine’s contractors have been taking sediment and soil samples on private properties along the creek to help determine design criteria for the upcoming “removal action” of these contaminants from private properties, and most of these properties have received reports of stream sediment and soil contamination in their backyards. EPA expects Mercury Marine to remove PCB-contaminated sediment in Columbia Pond and Wire and Nail Pond in spring 2016, which is welcome news, although it’s looking increasingly that this timeline is unrealistic, as EPA needs to still give approval and access to private properties still needs to be obtained.

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Our mission is to protect, improve and advocate for water quality, riparian wildlife habitat, and sound land management in the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic River Watersheds. We envision a future in which people from all walks of life can enjoy the healthy waterways of the Milwaukee River Basin. Milwaukee Riverkeeper is a licensed member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international coalition ensuring clean water and strong communities. We are working to achieve swimmable, fishable rivers for future generations throughout the Milwaukee Rive Basin.